Sunday, May 13, 2012

Incredible Day

1723 Jordan pipe organ -- St. George's, Southall

That's a small pipe organ behind organist Tom Bell. Built in 1723 by Abraham Jordan and restored in 2008 by the Mander Organ company, the sounds of this historic organ at St. George's, Southall, began an incredible day in London on Saturday.

Wanda Hayes Eichler plays the 1723 Jordan organ

Since the Jordan organ had no pedals and only two keyboards, it felt more like the reed organs that I've been used to playing. Ed took this photo of me playing this historic instrument. I played two hymns from The United Methodist Hymnal. Michael Barone, organiser of the Pipe Dreams Tour, did the honors of pulling stops to complement my playing. It was an honor to be at this keyboard.

One set of organ pipes at Westminister Abbey

Later in the day we participated in Evensong at Westminster Abbey. Our group had reserved seating for the service and then stayed for a presentation about the organ that was given by Robert Quinney, sub organist at the Abbey and organist for the Royal Wedding.

After a short introduction to the massive organ, Robert played the Coronation March written for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth in 1952. Listening to the majestic music I tried to imagine a young woman, now the Queen of England, leaving the Abbey sixty years ago with a new crown and new responsibilities and the strains of this music in her memory.

Console for the organ at Westminster Abbey

Our group then had the privilege of climbing up into the organ balcony to see the magnificent pipes in their very ornate cases and the console. This 1937 Harrison and Harrison organ has 109 ranks and five keyboards. The orchestra for the Royal Wedding played from the organ balcony which is about half way up the nave of the Abbey.

It was an incredible day of the sights and sounds of historic organs.

Copyright 2012
Wanda Hayes Eichler


  1. Wanda, I love the photo of you playing the organ. Happy Mother's Day!

  2. This is so great!!! Glad to hear you and Dad are having a wonderful time. My favorite part of this posting are the pictures of Westminster. Happy Mother's Day Mom!! Love you!

  3. Thank you for reading the blog. It has been a challenge to get something up everyday due to internet time being scarce. Enjoy! I will try to do a few "non organ" posts this week.

    Thank you for the Mother's Day greeting, Peter. I am talking about you a lot on this trip. (And Will. And Lee. And . . . -- you get the picture.)